I got word yesterday morning that I am being laid off (1) at the end of March unless I can find another position in the company. Of course this is a bit like the corporate version of musical chairs, except that instead of taking away one chair they’re removing hundreds. After perusing the internal job postings, I didn’t see anything that fit my needs(2), so I expect that March 28th will mark the end of 19 years with the company.
I’ve halfway been expecting this for nearly a year. They weren’t giving us any significant new work due to constant budget cuts, and my primary mission is to turn requirements into designs and guide them through the development process. Hence I was pretty underutilized, and ended up working on some on-going support tasks and some Java development. I am guilty of just not taking it seriously enough, I suppose.
Anyhow, I am trying to look at this as more of an opportunity than an obstacle. They’re giving me six months of pay as well as medical and life insurance, so I have a bit of cushion. I’ve got my resume out to a couple of people now for review and will get it out on the major sites to get the ball rolling on something regular. The upside is that I am seeing a lot of openings. It just appears to be a matter of getting my qualifications across in the best light for each one. And if nothing is forthcoming I’m considering going freelance, perhaps even starting my own company. There seems to be a lot of work available if you can build up your reputation.
Updated to add: They are also offering up to $2500 in reimbursement for training. I’m contemplating whether to get a Project Management certification. My work has always been intricately linked with the project management role, and I’ve even filled in as a PM on a fairly large project when the PM was injured and was away for several months. But I’m open to suggestions on other skills that might be useful to acquire. I’ve got more than 10 years doing J2EE apps, so I have lots of experience in Java, servlets, JDBC, database design and implementation (DB2 and MySQL), JSPs, etc. Also web services using SOAP. I’ve got some personal experience writing in PHP and Perl for the web, and I know my way around Linux (actually, Unix in general) pretty well. But I’ve never done .NET, C#, or any of the Microsoft stuff.
(1) Isn’t it interesting all the euphemisms and rhetorical contortions that are required in corporate speak to avoid saying the “l” word?
(2) I find myself in the unenviable position of owning a home in a down market, which severely limits my mobility. I suppose I could try to rent it out if I had to move somewhere else, but the logistics of that are messy. Additionally, the D/FW area has one of the better job markets in the country, so I am hopeful for a good outcome.